Self is something to be known. Self is not something to be got, not to be produced, not to be had. You can have something which is different from you and away from you. You can reach somewhere provided the destination is away from you and you are distanced from it. You can produce something provided there is a raw material and there is a process to be administered to it as a result of which the finished product, the outcome comes. You can get at, reach or obtain something; provided you don’t have it now and you have to have it.
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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
I have been in this course of spiritual dissemination for sixty years. Right from the beginning, I was speaking on Bhagavad Gitā. In fact, all the evening sessions were only on Bhagavad Gitā. If at all, other more serious or subtle texts are taken, that will be always invariably in the morning. Now alone, a little departure is made at times. I was speaking on Bhagavad Gitā sixty years back. I am also speaking on Bhagavad Gitā even now. In Trichur, I spoke for eighteen years consecutively, each year taking one chapter. After that, for the past three years including this year, I started speaking on Aṣṭavakra Gitā primarily with an intention to provide something still subtler and even loftier, though there cannot be any such comparison.
So this Bhagavad Gitā has been a book in which I go on doing research, research and research. Today I thought I would tell you, in what way does Bhagavad Gitā become a book of sādhanā and what is the striking difference between Bhagavad Gitā treatment of the subject and the Upanishadic and Brahma-sutra treatment.
Self is something to be known. Self is not something to be got, not to be produced, not to be had. You can have something which is different from you and away from you. You can reach somewhere provided the destination is away from you and you are distanced from it. You can produce something provided there is a raw material and there is a process to be administered to it as a result of which the finished product, the outcome comes. You can get at, reach or obtain something; provided you don’t have it now and you have to have it. None of these processes or pursuits is applicable to the self because the Self is a siddha-vastu, not a sādhya-vastu.
What is meant by ‘siddha’? Already obtained. Do you have to have wind or air? No, the wind is, the air is already in your system and it is surrounding you. You cannot bring it in a faster dose or a greater dose. Of course, in instances of diseases we are given oxygen cylinder because our system is not able to take the necessary oxygen through the biological processes. All the air is not oxygen. Part of it is oxygen. So, air is not something that you have to have. It is already there. It is in your system. Much more so is the case of the self. You are already the self. The self alone is present. You are surrounded by it. You are penetrated by it. You are permeated by it.
Now such a self, what kind of a predication can you do about it? Nothing! You only have to understand it as such. This understanding is the entry into God.
भक्त्या मामभिजानाति यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वतः ।
ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम् ।।
bhaktyā mām-abhijānāti yāvān-yaścāsmi tattvata: ।
tato mām tattvato jñātvā viśate tad-anantaram ।।।।
(Bhagavad Gitā 18.55)
By devotion, the devotee comes to know me well. When he knows me essentially, in essence, that ‘knowing in essence’ marks his entry into my being. He understands that the whole world is in God. I am in world. If the world is in God, I am also in God. There is nothing excluding God. So, this understanding marks the entry, the entry is only a word, a phraseology you use.
So, the self is only to be known as such. That is why this Ātma-jñāna. It is not Ātma-prāpti. Jñānā deva-kaivalya- prāpthi. By knowledge alone you have kaivalya.
Why I am saying this? That is why this entire self-knowledge-science is said to be a pursuit of the intelligence. So the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras and such other texts like Chit-sukhi, Advaita-siddhi, Khandana-Khanda-Khadya and all that, particularly Yoga Vasishta Ramayana… Sri Rama was repeatedly told and described about the Self. It is the mouth of Vasiṣṭha that spoke. It is the eardrum that enabled Sri Rama to hear. But the speech came from the buddhi of Vasiṣṭha and the absorption came in the buddhi of Rama. So it was a buddhi interaction. So, we always say self is a knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, knowledge.
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं ।
jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ jñāna-gamyaṁ ।
(Bhagavad Gitā 13.17)
It is knowledge, it is to be known and the process is knowing.
Now, the point I want to bring about is Bhagavad Gitā has made it a mind pursuit. Arjuna asked, “Grief is scorching my whole body, not merely the mind. The mind grief has become so pronounced that my whole senses are being scorched by it. So it was so pronounced that it was a physical expression that Arjuna was suffering from. Now, you have to assuage it, cool it, make me comfortable.”
He did not say, “I am suffering from ignorance and remove that ignorance.” He has said it, but the primary focus was ‘yat-śokam-ucchoṣaṇam-indriyāṇāṁ’ (Bhagavad Gita 2.8). That is why Krishna began saying ‘aśocyān-anvaśocas-tvaṁ’ (Bhagavad Gita 2.11), and he repeatedly speaks about grief. This grief is a creation or a product of the mind. So, the entire self knowledge is described and expressed by Krishna, mostly as a redress for the mind’s problems. How does he explain it? I wish at least some of you will try to grasp it properly.
Sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā. Be even-minded towards sukha and duhkha, sukha-duhkhas are not buddhi creations. Lābhālābhau jayājayau. The feeling of lābha, the feeling of jaya, all these are emotional evolutes.
सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ ।
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि ।।
sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvālābhālābhau jayājayau ।
tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpam-avāpsyasi ।।
(Bhagavad Gitā 2.38)
Sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau. Tato yuddhāya yujyasva. See? In the mind level, let these things be even for you and then fight. Naivaṁ pāpam-avāpsyasi. You will not incur any sin at all. Buddhi is not involved there. Only mind is involved. You remain in the mind level. In the mind level, mind level.
यदृच्छालाभसन्तुष्टो द्वन्द्वातीतो विमत्सरः ।
yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭo dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ।
(Bhagavad Gitā 4.22)
Yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭah. Be contented with whatever chance and providence bring. That contentment is a reference to the mind and then you are not to worry about it. Whatever providence brings. Look at everyday of your life as something providence brings. If somebody talks to you, it is. If somebody doesn’t talk, it is. If it is joy, okay. If it is sorrow, okay. If people are friendly, good, unfriendly, good. See, you always remain in the mind level. And in the mind, that Samatva,
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ।। २-४८ ।।
siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṁ yoga ucyate ।। 2-48 ।।
This samatva is not in the buddhi level. Buddhi is given to understanding and mind is given to experience. This samatva is in the experiential level. You will find in Bhagavad Gitā, the entire self- knowledge is brought to the level of the mind and it is presented to you in the form of
सन्तुष्टः सततं योगी ।
santuṣṭaḥ satataṁ yogī ।
(Bhagavad Gitā 12.14)
The actual yoga is constant cheerfulness and delight. Santuṣṭaḥ satataṁ, always be contented. Contentment belongs to the mind. Make your mind contented. Don’t worry about the self. Don’t worry about your intelligence. Don’t worry about anything else. Be contented. Be smiling, joyful, happy, Wah! Wah!
मुनिः प्रसन्नगम्भीरो ।
Munih. Prasanna-gambhiro ।
Munih. Be an ascetic. Prasanna-gambhirah. Wah! Profoundly cheerful.
Just see? The whole science of self knowledge is related in terms of the mind, in terms of mind’s emotions, emotional equipoise, emotional evenness, emotional, emotional, emotional. Have moderation, have moderation, do not be depressed, do not be unduly delighted. Live in the middle of your mind. It should be a midpoint. Neither go up nor come down. In your life, there is no place for happiness or unhappiness. There is only a place for moderation in the two. Happiness and unhappiness, the world and life will create. You have to become moderate, moderation, moderation.
Samatvaṁ yoga ucyate. Samatvaṁ yoga ucyate.
There is no reference to the self even and self knowledge even. Such a wonderful presentation!
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.